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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/14/2024

Presented here is a historic PSA/DNA Type 1 original photograph from the very beginning of professional "basket ball." On January 30, 1923, a total of 12,000 spectators were on hand at Cleveland's Public Auditorium to see their hometown Rosenblums do battle with New York Celtics. This image captures what was, at the time, the largest crowd ever to attend a basketball game.

No relation to the Boston Celtics, the “Original” Celtics were primarily a barnstorming squad, although they did compete in the EBL (1921-22), Metropolitan Basketball League (1922-23) and American Basketball League (1926-28), winning three league championships. America’s first attempts at pro basketball were largely unsuccessful, forcing this juggernaut group of hoops junkies to travel up to 150,000 miles a year and play a grueling 200-game schedule. Led by early pioneer stars such as Dutch Dehnert, Nat Holman and Joe Lapchick, the N.Y. Celtics won an estimated 90% of their games during their 20+ years of existence. In 1922–23, they finished with an unfathomable 193–11–1 record. They were too good, in fact, and were essentially blackballed and dismantled by the ABL, sending them back on the road to barnstorm.

The Cleveland Rosenblums were owned by Cleveland department store owner, Max Rosenblum. During the 1922–23 season, the team, coached by Bill Lange who would later coach the UNC Tar Heels, were considered "the fastest basket ball aggregation in the country" with several college stars highlighed by Kelly McBride. The Rosenblums won the inaugural 1926 ABL title.

The classic 8x10 shot from an upper section perspective shows one of the teams on the floor stretching with an archaic setup of the scorer's table and press flanking midcourt. The packed auditorium almost has the appearance of a symphony. There are pencil notations on the back by the photographer/editor along with a nice cursive description marking the event, date, location and teams. The clear image has a clean surface with little blemishes to speak of, appearing NM or better overall. Encapsulated by PSA/DNA in a Type I jumbo holder.

Historic Jan. 30, 1923 New York "Original Celtics" at Cleveland Roseblums (Founding ABL Teams) Original Photo from Record-Setting Basketball Crowd – PSA/DNA Type 1
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Minimum Bid: $250
Final prices include buyers premium.: $364
Number Bids:3
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